FC Copenhagen vs APOEL Nicosia,
2016/ 17 Champions League Play-Off,
Date: Tuesday, 16 August, 2016.
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Telia Parken (Copenhagen).
FC Copenhagen look for an early advantage when they host familiar foes APOEL Nicosia in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League play-offs on Wednesday night.
FC Copenhagen failed to qualify for Champions League football in the past two seasons. Their last appearance came in 2013/14 season, but their best run in over a decade was their knock-round appearance in 2011/12 season.
APOEL Nicosia had qualified for the Champions League group stage on three of the last six seasons – 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2014/15. They surprised everyone by reaching quarter finals of the tournament in 2011/12 edition of the competition, where they got eliminated by Real Madrid.
However, APOEL defeat Copenhagen in the play-offs to earn their first entry into the UEFA Champions Group stage in 2009/10.
Copenhagen vs APOEL Nicosia: Head-to-Head Stats
In the two legged fixture of the play-offs in 2009/10, APOEL won 3-1 in the first leg at their home. Copenhagen, who needed to win by a 2 goal margin, only managed a 1-0 win sending APOEL to their first ever Champions League Group stage appearance.
APOEL is the only Cypriot opposition that Copenhagen had met so far in a UEFA competition.
But APOEL had previously met three other Danish oppositions in Boldklubben 1903, Aalborg and FC Midtjylland. Their overall record against Danish teams from 8 matches is 3 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses. The home record from 4 matches is 2 wins and 2 losses.
Copenhagen vs APOEL Nicosia: Prediction
FC Copenhagen had made an excellent start to the season and are unbeaten in 9 matches with 7 wins and 2 draws. They are extremely strong at home winning in all of the five matches in all competitions so far, scoring and incredible 19 goals against 1 conceded.
The Cyprus first division is yet to start and APOEL had just the two round of Champions League Qualifiers and Super Cup fixture as competitive matches. Their form is moderate at the moment after winning 2, losing 2 and drawing 1 from the six competitive games so far. Also their away form at the moment is nothing to write about as they lost 2-1 to Rosenborg in the second round of qualifiers, before escaping with a 0-0 draw against the New Saints in the first round.
Copenhagen will go in as heavy favourites on the basis of their recent home form. If they can beat the nerves, they will win this by a comfortable margin.
The Danish champions are averaging 3.2 goals at home and I believe they will score at least 2 goals here.
Copenhagen vs APOEL Nicosia: Tips
1) Copenhagen to win at 1.55
2) Over 2.5 Goals (Match Total) @ 2.10
3) Copenhagen to score over 1.5 goals at 1.80.